tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 7, 2013 1:00am-6:00am EST
work in the justice department. that is an example of how this department conducts itself and where we make mistakes, but we do to try to protect them -- try to correct them. as long as i am attorney general, can as long as this information is brought to my attention, on will not hesitate. >> i respect that. unfortunately, in both cases, both of these men are dead, and it is hard to make recompense to someone after they are dead. i know we are going to be picking up some various legislation, and we have spoken to that some, and i want to ask you, i have a copy of a speech you gave to the women's national democratic club, january 30, 1995, and i want to quote from
it and ask you if this is a direct quote. it is not enough to simply have a catchy ad and then do it every monday. we need to do this every monday of the week and really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way. is that it? >> that is taken of context. i was talking about black men, and at the time, washington, d.c., was the murder capital. the glorified the use of the guns, and what i was saying is we need to counter those images, and i used the term brainwash" to get them to think differently about the use of guns. >> do you think the aggressive prosecution of gun crimes as part of the answer as well -- is part of the answer as well? serves as a deterrence to using
firearms and committing other crimes? >> absolutely. i also think preventing people from acquiring guns and using them in inappropriate ways -- i as a superior court judge, i saw an ocean of young black men who should have been a feature of this community go to this jail because they have guns, used them inappropriately, killed people. i thought in that speech -- what i tried to do with to come up -- was to come up with ways to talk to these young guys and convince them that acquiring guns and using them to sell drugs, robbed people was wrong. inappropriate. a prevention thing. i think you are right. in addition to strongly prosecuting them, when i was a judge, i send people away for possession and use of guns for extended periods of time. i did not hesitate to do that as a judge.
>> in conclusion, the fbi figures revealed from 2010 that more than 76,000 people attempting to buy guns built background checks. we do not know how many of these people have committed crimes the bureau of atf -- have committed crimes. out of 76,000 failed background checks, your department pursued a guilty verdict in just 13 cases. how is that consistent with making violation of crime in -- a prosecution is so slight? >> the primary purpose of the background check is to make sure people who should not have guns denied get them. -- do not get them. since 1998, 1.5 million people have been turned away. of all the federal gun prosecution's bring, one seventh of them are gun prosecution's.
all of those cases for people are denied the opportunity to get a gun are reviewed for prosecution and purposes and determinations are made as to whether they, in fact, should be prosecuted. one of the things i want to look at is whether or not we need to bring more of those cases. i will be talking to u.s. attorneys about that. if we are going to be cracking down on gun crime, there are reasonable explanations as to why we have those numbers but i want to make certain we are prosecuting all the people we should who had been denied -- a gun, failing one of the background check systems. >> a crime not prosecuted is not a deterrent is. would you agree with that?
we have limited -- >> we have limited resources and we have to try to figure out where we want to use those. one has to look at why the gun was denied and determination on whether or not we should use those sources to bring prosecution against that person. >> a crime not prosecuted does not produce the kind of deterrence we would want to prevent other people from committing similar crimes. do you agree with that? >> you are several minutes over. three minutes, 30 seconds. >> you have been very indulgent but i would like a simple answer to the question. >> deterrence comes in a number of forms. some are deterred by the prospect of jail, others by the prospect of having filled out a form and then having been turned down. it depends on the individual. those are the kinds of factors be taken to account when making determinations as to whether a prosecution should be appropriately brought. >> thank you very much. senator. i want to say welcome attorney general holder and thank you for your service. i think it is apparent you have a very hard job in a hard time.
i want to say something to you on the office of legal counsel opinions. our job is vigorous oversight of the intelligence community. we cannot do this unless we see the legal underpinnings for certain kinds of activities, particularly clandestine activities. i believe the committee is fully united on that point. both sides. so i believe the administration will have to come to terms with this. i would like to ask you to spend time and take a good look at it. i have been sitting here reading the white paper you sent to this committee on the subject of lawfulness of the illegal operation directed against a u.s. citizen, a senior operational leader of al qaeda. or an associated force.
this is committee confidential but it is not classified. the fact of the matter is it is a 16 page, very hostile and -- very thoughtful and very impressive opinion, and yet, it cannot go into the public domain. i cannot ask you about some of the factors of this opinion even here and i think that's a mistake. i think the world we are now living in is so different and precise that the legal underpinnings for action really are important. secondly, it is one thing for a president to ask for a legal opinion prior to something that is ongoing. maybe even on going. it seems to me that after words, -- after words, -- afterwards, we should have the
opportunity to assess the legality of that and if necessary, be able to clarify law, change a law, do whatever a constitutional legislative body does. i would just ask you to take a look at this. we have now -- i just got a note. it has been release now because it was leaked first. so -- [chuckles] >> that is one way of getting it out. >> i think that gives you an idea of the situation we are in from an intelligence point of view, it is vital. committees. let's say that predator is taken out of the jurisdiction of intelligence and put in the military. that transfers the jurisdiction to armed forces. let's say it is used in some way that brings the jurisdiction to this committee. i think we now have to look at that arena and make some
decisions as to the administration being more forthcoming with the legal advice that underpins lawmaking. >> yes. >> please don't. would you agree. -- agree? >> the president has heard you and others who are raised this concern on both sides of the aisle. i think what you will hear from the president in a short period of time -- we have talked about a need for greater transparency in what we share, what we talk about. because i am confident that if the american people had access to for instance -- some of this stuff could not be shared but i understand that. at least the representatives of the american community have a chance to see some of those olc opinions, there would be a greater degree of comfort and.
this government does the things reluctantly but we do it in conformity with international law, domestic law and with our values. as an american people. and so, i think there is going to be a greater effort at transparency. and number of steps are going to be taken. i expect you will hear the president speaking about this. >> right now we have someone exercising a hold on john brennan said what we are talking about is your eating dinner in your house or at a cafe and walking down the road in this country and can be targeted for elimination. i do not believe that is true. >> no. >> i do not believe it is correct. i think it really -- it is one thing after a major attack like 911 where we saw a great people take down a plane -- brave people take down a plane, because they heard his claims were being crossed into
buildings and there was a likelihood this one was going to crash into the u.s. capitol, so people on the plane took it down. then there was discussion as to whether a president should order a plan taken down with american citizens if it was going to jeopardize a greater number of american citizens. i think this to some extent is something we have to grapple with in a legal way as well. >> mm-hmm. >> in reading the opinions i have just read, i believe they are very sound opinions. i have also read opinions from the bush administration, one of which was withdrawn from the -- by the bush administration, two of which were withdrawn from the obama administration. they are not, in my view, a good opinions. they were opinions designed to provide whatever the president or administration was asking for.
i think this is where transparency is important. years after, we have an opportunity to look and make judgments as to whether our democracy and our values are being operated by the executive in a proper manner. >> i think there is a greater need for transparency, a greater need for appropriately sharing information, and we are struggling with how to do that. it is something the president feels strongly about. and as i said, over the next few months, you will see an effort on the part of the administration to be more transparent. >> thank you. the senator is next on my list, and then senator whitehouse. >> thank you. senator feinstein. general holder, thank you for being here thisi would like to
address three areas and i would like to start at the topic you were discussing, the topic of drums. -- drones. in your response yesterday, you suggested there may be circumstances in which is permissible to use drones to target a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil. you pointed to deed -- two, you pointed to two, pearl harbor and 911, both average -- both of which were extreme military attacks on the homeland. i want to ask a more specific question. quietly at a cafe, in the united states, in your legal judgment, does the constitution allowed a u.s. citizen on u.s. store -- u.s. oil to be killed by a -- on u.s. soil to be killed by a drone? >> sitting in a cafe having a cup of coffee? >> if that individual is not posing an immediate threat of death corporate bodily harm? >> i do not think you could arrests that person on that>>
the person is suspected to be a terrorist. have abundant evidence. he is involved in a terrorist spot. he is not planning a bazooka at -- pointing a bazooka and at the pentagon. the united states government uses drones to take out individuals when they are sitting at a cafe. a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil is not posing an immediate threat to life or bodily harm, does the constitution allowing drawn to kill and citizen? >> i do not think that it be inappropriate use of any kind of legal force. we would typically deal with that situation. appropriateness or discretion. it was a simple legal question. does the constitution allowed a
u.s. citizen on u.s. soil who does not pose an imminent threat to be killed by the u.s. government? >> i do not believe that -- again, all of the facts. on the facts you have given me, this is a hypothetical, i do not think in that situation the use of john or legal force would be appropriate. -- use of drones or legal force would be a corporate. >> in that, which was deliberately simple, you could not give the answer now. i think it is very simple. if that individual did not pose an individual threat, it would due process. >> i said the use of lethal force, drones, guns, or what ever else would not be appropriate that circumstance. >> you keep saying appropriate. my question is about whether it would be constitution or not.
as attorney general, you are the chief legal officer of the united states. do you have a legal judgment on whether it would be constitutional to kill a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil in those circumstances? >> a person that was not engaged. this is a hypothetical. this is the problem with hypotheticals. person sitting at the cafe not doing anything imminently, the use of lethal force -- legal force would not be appropriate, would not be about -- would not be something -- >> i find it remarkable you will not -- >> i thought i was saying no. >> while, then, i am glad. after much gymnastics, i am glad to hear is the opinion of the department of justice that it would be unconstitutional to kill a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil threat. that statement has not been easily forthcoming.
i wish you had given that statement in response to the letter asking you it. i will point out that i will be introducing legislation in the senate to make clear the u.s. government cannot kill a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil absence of an imminent threat. based on that representation, i hope the department will support that legislation. >> that is consistent with the letter i sent. to senator paul. i talked about 911 and pearl harbor. those are the instances where i said it might possibly be considered. other than that, we would use our normal law enforcement authorities in order to resolve situations along those lines and do. >> i like to move on. what has been considered the politicized enforcement of law.
in 2010, congress and heard evidence and the department of justice declined to enforce voting discrimination laws against members of the black panther party. in 2011, the department of justice released a statement saying that the department would no longer defend the constitutionality of the defense of marriage act, which passed with overwhelming both houses of congress and signed into law. last year in 2012, the department of homeland security announced that it would no longer enforce our nation's immigration laws against individuals designated by the president. my question to you is, are there any other laws passed by this congress that the department of justice does not intend to enforce? >> it is the tradition of the department to always enforce laws where there is a reasonable basis to argue for the enforcement of those laws. i have sent memos or letters to the speaker of the house where we have declined to support laws and enforce laws that
congress has passed for a variety ofwith regard to doma where we declined to defend that statute that courts subsequently have agreed with us applying that standard of heightened security that in fact, doma was unconstitutional. >> there was a bit of a slight of hand. you said courts goode on the merits of the issue, that is different from saying there is no reasonable basis to defend the statute. surely it's not the department's position every case that the department loses a case i will will not defend the statute. what process does the department engage in to determine which federal laws it will follow and which it will not? >> there is a presumption that we will apply and support any law that congress passes. it is the rare instance that we will not. doma was one of those and there wasn't a reasonable basis to defend the statute applying the
heightened scrutiny statute. >> let me very briefly address one other area. many attention has focused on the fast and furious program and the tragic consequences of that. was the white house involved in any way whatsoever indecision making concerning fast and furious? >> no. understanding is you asserted executive privilege against handing over documentsexecutive privilege protects as the supreme court has made clear, communications and advice with the president. if the white house was not involved executive privilege does not apply to those documents. if executive privilege does apply to those documents, it
necessarily implies that the white house and the president personally was involved. which of the two is it? line. the president, the white house is not involved in the operational component of fast and furious. there were conversations between the justice department and the white house about the operation after all of the operative facts had occurred, after all of the cover -- controversial actions were taken and got into the situation where we were talking about the congressional investigation of fast and communications between the white house and justice department. but nothing -- >> did i understand you correctly -- my time has expired. is it your position that executive privilege only applies after the details of fast and furious became public and subsequent communications but no executive privilege that is applicable before it becoming
public because as you said, the white house was not involved in any way, shape or form? >> the executive privilege protects the white house and executive branch agency and to communications that deal with fast and furious between the white house and justice department. >> so the executive privilege does not apply? >> there is nothing there for executive privilege to apply to. as best as i know. >> thank you, general. >> thank you, chairman. welcome, general holder. first off, thinking for the initial statement that the administration has made about putting the drone program under a more regular ongoing separation of powers framework. there is a lot of work ahead of us to work out the details but it's an important for the administration. and thank you for your executive order which was a vital step and remain disappointed that we didn't pass legislation to address this pressing issue. senator graham and i are
continuing to work on supplementing the executive order with bipartisan legislation that i think is vital for our country. let me chime in on the question of getting the response to the request for the record that was made last june when you were last here and which we still have no response to. i understand that it's tied to o.m.b. but presumably they could put it into the calculation of when letters are prepared for you. >> not only o.m.b. just to be fair. there is something within the department where we need to be
more responsive. but executive branch agencies, equity in these responses. it's not strictly o.m.b. >> pretty long run for getting an answer. >> i agree with that. >> we are looking forward to having a hearing on the resources of the department and the strategy of the department on cyber prosecutions and on the actions against -- the case was good and i understand there have been awards given to the you for. but i would have it would have been a model for a great number of other type of legal efforts to clean them out of the web and hasn't been pursued as a model or strategy. and to my knowledge, there hasn't been a single cyber prosecution brought against a hacker like we know china is doing that comes in purely through the web, raids an american company for its
intellectual property, takes the property out and uses it as industrial espionage. i know there have been cases made for espionage and sometimes involve cyber, but there has been a tangible link of some kind, somebody with the cd in their pocket leaving the factory. so i think anybody who has been in the trenches understands how immensely complicated and resource-intensive these cases budgets it's time to focus the real light to focus on how important these cases are and would you be willing to work with us and send appropriate d.o.j. officials to a hearing. >> that could be particularly useful as we try to explain the issues that we confront in bringing these cases, the resource issues that we have. but also to hear suggestions.
with regard to how we might do these cases so i think that kind of interaction would be to. >> appreciate it. similarly, we are looking at the enforcement of campaign finance laws. there appears to be a considerable zrep answery between in -- zrepssi, between applications made to the i.r.s. status and the identity once it's out acting in that political world and we would like to look further into that and would ask cooperation from the department from a witness at a hearing to that question. >> we will be glad to participate in that we have as one of our enforcement
responsibilities the campaign finance laws. there is an election crime section within the public integrity section. this is something that we do. to interact with you and have a hearing in that regard. >> good. and the last thing that i'll raise, the margolis memorandum needs to be retracted by the department. it is a continuing burr under my saddle that we could expect of the members of the department of justice, particularly those at the office of legal counsel who are often the best and the
brightest that the legal profession has. they are on to a supreme court seat and immensely talented people and the notion that they don't have to meet the same stands of diligence and candor that an evidence lawyer does hustling into the courthouse in providence with five files under his arm is to me something that i'm just going to continue to press on until that gets resolved. oncemention that to you again now and we'll continue to follow up. i bring it up every time from a person from the department of justice comes to see me and whenever candidates for nomination -- for confirmation come to see me. i know it brought a resolution department but it did so by cutting acorn that should not have been cut. and i think the standards should be higher, not lower. i appreciate very much your
service to our country, as former member of the department of justice. thank you very much. i look at real dismay what is happening to it prior to your tenure. and i continue to express pride and enthusiasm and increasing morale as the leadership you have provided. >> very kind. you and i can have a conversation about the margolis theory memo. whatever. detailed conversation about thati would like to hear what they are. >> thank you very much, senator whitehouse. senator flake is not here. senator klobuchar is not here. senator graham is here. >> thank you, mr. attorney
general. we have been talking about the war on terror ever since you have been doing this job. absolutely. >> absolutely. >> and i want to congratulate you and the president. i think you have thought hard and long under difficult circumstances. i want to applaud your efforts with the drone program. it has helped us in afghanistan and pakistan and i just believe this is a tactical tool that this president should be using and using it responsibly. is al qaeda actively involved recruiting american citizens to their cause? >> i certainly know of efforts that al qaeda has made. >> we don't disclose that the al qaeda organization is actively involved in seeking american citizens' support. in every war we have had, unfortunately americans have sided with the enemy, few in
number. we had american citizens helping the germans who tried to blow up infrastructure in the united states. in world war ii. >> those cases were tried right down the hall from my office. >> it's a long standing proposition that an american citizen who joins the forces of our enemies can be considered an enemy combatant, do you agree with that? >> yes. >> the point i'm trying to make, hypothetically, if there are patriot missile batteries around this capitol and other key governmental infrastructures to batteries to launch, is that correct? >> to launch -- >> against the threat? if there was intelligence that
an airplane was coming towards the capitol or the white house that had been hijacked, it would be ok for our military to act, wouldn't it? >> yes. >> it would be an imminent threat and the military has the legal authority under the constitution and the authorization to use military force to strike back against al qaeda, is that correct? >> yes. >> when we say congress gave every administration the authorization to use military didn't exempt the homeland, did we? >> no. i do not think we did. towouldn't it be crazy exempt the homeland and say for some reason the military can't defend here? in an appropriate circumstances? >> that's right. the question is what forces do we use. but we have that authority. >> and i totally agree with you that the likelihood of capture is very high in america and we
have a lot of law enforcement agencies available and that we would put them out front, but certainly most law enforcement agencies don't have patriot missile batteries. so that's a good example of capacity to protect the homeland against a terrorist act that law enforcement can't. -- rare case, >> that would be the real case, but in the letter that i sint to senator paul is one of the reasons i referenced september 11. >> let's go back in time. what we would all give to have those patriot missile batteries available on september 10, 2001 in new york city and washington? have lost a plain load of american citizens but saved thousands more. that's the world in which weand i want to stand by you and the president to make sure that the commander in chief continues us all and i've got a lot of my colleagues who are well meaning, but there is only one
commander you agree with that? >> >> that's true. one of the most difficult decisions to give that order. president bush and vice president cheney. >> and i want you to know from senator graham's point of view that you have the authority and authorization to use military force to take such action and i know you will if put in that position. about where this war is going, we are winding down afghanistan, do you think the al qaeda threat is over? >> no. the al qaeda threat as we knew it traditionally focused in pakistan, core al qaeda has been greatly weakened, but there are nodes in different places on the africa. we have to be concerned with them. >> what would your message to
any american citizen thinking of col baiting with al qaeda at home or abroad, what would you say to them? >> that you do so at your own risk. if you align yourself with al qaeda, you are taking arms against the nation, and then you will go up against the full weight of the american military and the law enforcement community, whatever tools we have. >> i want to say i believe article 3 courts have a robust role on the war on terror and i want to say that military also, do you agree with that statement? >> sure. >> let's turn to another topic where we probably won't agree. this committee will be taking up legislation about banningare you familiar with the ar-15? >> i'm familiar with it, yes. >> just generally speaking. >> i might have shot one at the f.b.i. academy. >> you are aware over four
american citizens? >> it's a very popular weapon. i know. >> any weapon can be dangerous, i will be the first to admit that. can you imagine a circumstance where the ar-15 would be a better defense weapon than a double-barrel shotgun. where you have a natural disaster or some catastrophic event and those things do happen and law and order breaks down because the police can't travel, there is no communication and there are armed gangs running around neighborhoods, can you envision a situation where if your home happens to be in the crosshairs of this group, that it might be better to have an ar-15 than a double-barrel shotgun? >> we are dealing with a>> am i unreasonable to say i would prefer an ar-15? you do not have to agree with me. >> as i said, you are dealing
with i hypothetical. -- with a hypothetical. >> it could exist tomorrow. if there is a cyber attack against america and the power grid goes down and the dam is released and chemical plants discharged -- >> i don't think new orleans would have been better served with ar-15's. >> if my family was in the cross-hairs of gangs roaming around neighborhoods and new orleans or any other location the deterrent effect of an ar-15 is greater than a double-barrel and i have a disagreement on that. can i ask one more question? sir? i promise. i know we have other people. >> yes. >> there was 76,142 people filled out a background check. 1,362 denied the background --
13,862 were denied the background check because they were fugitives from justice. literally on the run from the law. what happened to those cases? how many of those fugitives were apprehended? >> i don't know what the numbersr but each of the cases are individually examined and determination is made as to whether or not prosecutions should be brought or where the prosecutions are. if you are talking about somebody who is a fugitive, i would agree with you, that should be a priority prosecution, but that person may not be there. people failed a background check. obviously, we have some work to do when it comes to the current background system.
thank you for your service. >> there have been questions asked about drones in the u.s. this committee will be holding a hearing on march 20. senator franken. >> i want to thank you, general holder for the department of justice's action in the proposition 8 case and the supreme court, brave decision on your part and powerful statement of the department's commitment for all people. in your testimony, you talk about the department's civil suit against s and p and you say the quote is you are seeking
billion dollars in damages for alleged conduct that goes to the heart of the recent economic crisis, and i totally agree with that. i think the credit rating agencies because of -- the basic conflict of interest that is inherent and the issuer pays model where the issuer of a security chooses and pays one of the big three it was, moody's, s and p and some degree, fitch and the rating agencies gave out a.a.a. ratings to junk because they wanted to keep the business. and in the d.o.j. case, as part of the evidence, emails from
between people at s and p saying look, we know this isn't deserving of a a.a.a. but we have to give it that. but that information or those kinds of emails are contained in the indictment. >> this is a statement by d.o.j. s and p falsely represented that its ratings were objective and not influenced by sap's -- relationship with jefment banks but its desire led it to favor the interests of these banks over investors. >> we believe our evidence will show that. >> now you say this goes to the heart of the recent economic crisis. isn't that because once they ran out of mortgages to securityize and subprime
mortgages, and they gave a.a.a. ratings, right? >> i'm not an expert but when you start talking about the bets on bets, that is correct. but i'm not an economist or man and financial guy. >> i understand that. when you say it goes to the heart of the recent economic crisis, what i'm saying is is that this house of cards that card high if they hadn't given a.a.a. derivatives and derivatives on derivatives. >> getting away from the s&p case, because that is a pending case, at the assertions you are making are correct. correct that the financial system made bets on bets giving ratings to derivatives that were not necessarily deserved. i'm not talking s.a. -- s. and p now.
>> i am not asking you to testify as an expert on finance, but the prosecution goes to the heart of why our economy collapsed, and what it was was that the credit agencies, there was a conflict of interest there, because they knew if they gave a aaa waiting -- rating, they would get more business. that is essentially what the case is about. government's theory. >> senator wicker and i wrote an amendment to dodd-frank which said -- that gave s.e.c. the ability to address that, to eliminate the conflict of interest and that passing the amendment was -- in a bipartisan way, 64 votes, it got to conference and became a study that said that if the
s.e.c. finds this conflict of interest still exists that they will address that conflict of interest and get rid of it. that's happened. and i think that is absolutely crucial that the s.e.c. act on that. so i wanted to just use your testimony get on my little soap box -- big soap box here, but i think it's absolutely crucial. i want to ask you about an entirely different matter, last fiscal year, 14,000 children arrived at our borders alone and subsequently entered our immigration courts system. since 2008, the department of health and human services has been in charge making sure that
these children have access to legal representation. unfortunately, experts report half of these children are getting lawyers. stories of eight-year-old kids, six-year-old children going before immigration judges by themselves without representation. attorney general holder, experts have suggested that transferring the job of getting these kids lawyers to be transferred out ofdo you support doing this? >> we want to work with you in coming up with ways to ensure that children do have legal representation. if this is something that is better housed in the justice department, it is something we are willing to consider. but this is going to be a resource issue. we shouldn't give this responsibility to the justice department.
as part of the immigration reform pack acknowledge we are considering it is inexcuseable that young kids and you are right, six, seven-year-olds have immigration decisions made on their behalf, against them, and they aren't represented which counsel. nation. together. you are absolutely right. this is unconscionable. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. senator grassley? >> once again, thank you for coming up here. i want to follow up on your response to senator cruz and i think he talked about introducing a bill. do you believe that congress has the constitutional authority
passing a law prohibiting the president to use lethal force against american citizens on u.s. soil? and if not, why not? >> congress has the ability to pass such a bill? >> use lethal force, whether in legislation -- well, congress has the constitutional authority to pass a law prohibiting the president's to use lethal force against american citizens on u.s. soil? >> i'm not sure such a bill would be constitutional. i would have to look at the legislation, but i would have that concern. >> but your basis is is because of article 2? >> i believe so. >> a question in that area, given the belief that it would be constitutional to use lethal force against american citizens on u.s. soil in some instances as you said, would that theory
extend to permitting the executive branch to use enhanced interrogation techniques against american citizens on u.s. soil to avoid a catastrophic event? >> i don't think those techniques should be used against anybody. they are ineffective and inconsistent with how we think of ourselves as a nation and some of them are outright torture. they do not work. >> on another issue in regard to a letter you wrote to chairwoman mikulski on the budget control act in cutting $1.6 billion from the current level which would have serious consequences. specifically the letter detail cuts to the f.b.i. suggesting furlough of 775 special agents, most important assets to the national security and law enforcement. but the reality is as of yesterday, the department of justice was advertising for over 100 job openings on u.s.a. jobs web site.
these include positions such as cook supervisor, dental hygienist, law librarian. and the department's web site has over 50 attorney positions listed since january 14. the memorandum was being issued by o.m.b. instructing agencies. so i'm skeptical about your description of severe negative impacts on the impact including the estimated loss of federal agents fighting national security. further, your letter to the chairwoman failed to discuss cuts to conference expenditures, which more than doubled between 2008, 2010 and failed to discuss reductions in travel or other nonmission expenditures. what has a high priority when it comes to sequester? how do you reconcile the fact that the department is actively recruiting for hundreds of positions, including cooks and
dental hygienists but you threaten to furlough 775 f.b.i. agents working on violent crimes? national security? >> if the sequestration stays in effect, we are going to have to furlough f.b.i. agents. what i have told the people in the department is that hiring has to stop. doesn't mean that we should stop the process of going through the interviews so when the sequestration is over and funds are returned to us, we have the ability to fill gaps that we will have through attrition. we want to be in a position on the other end to have people in line to take positions that might be available but there won't be anybody brought on into the department of justice while sequestration is in effect. i made that clear to the heads. of the components, soyou can do the interviews and all that stuff and maybe have a person that you want to have in place once we are on the other side of sequestration.
>> how does your direction to the chairwoman comply with o.m.b.'s memorandum to cuts? life, safety, and health concerns? >> well, what we are talking about is just interviewing people and making sure that these are potentially people we might want to hire. the costs are minimal. >> how about cutting the 700 or so f.b.i. agents? how does comport with the memo of o.m.b. on minimizing? cuts to agency mission, life, safety, health prove sequester is structured. you look at the various components within the department and there is little or nothing i can do with regard to the f.b.i. has taken in terms of a cut and we are the resources that we have, the money in the department of justice is in our people.
we don't have airplanes. we don't fly huge amounts ofwe don't have planes like the defense department. when it comes to reducing costs, all i can do is, basically, i can furlough people and do things on the other side, with regard, as you mentioned, to conferences and things of that nature. the main we we have to reduce costs is with regard to furloughing our people which will have a negative impact on our ability to do our job the american people expect us to do. >> the o.m.b. memo requested as i noted in my memo last week proposals from the department and i asked you for a copy of these. would you provide these draft proposals to the committee so we can review what cuts the department requested and what o.m.b. recognized? and if you will not give it to us, why not? >> i'm not sure i understand your question. >> o.m.b. sends you recommendations and then you send back what you are going to
do. i want those documents so i can compare the -- what you recommended to what o.m.b. said should be -- have a higher priority. >> i am not sure what the position is in that. there would be correspondence between the agency and omb about matters that we would seek to protect. >> my time is up, i heard in an interview that you said for the people that voted for the effort contempt effort against you that you didn't have respect for people like that. i'm extremely disappointed. i voted for you based on the fact that giving you the
benefit of the doubt and disregarding previous controversies. it seems to me your comments quite shocking and i don't think you should have said it and you owe the people an apology. thank you. >> let me just say what i don't respect is the process. it was an effort that had a predetermined result. whatever we did in good faith was met by passing political determinations and that is a process that i don't respect and the people who pushed it are people as i said before, i stand by that, the people who pushed it i don't respect because it isn't consistent with cabinet members, how they retreated, and when they decided to score that vote. it was clear how that vote was going to turn out. it was other than was as portrayed it to me.
>> how can they take it up. >> history has shown in the past there was a much greater period of time for those kinds of negotiations to occur. if you look at what happened with harriet meirs and josh bolton, you will see the period -- as opposed to what happened to eric holder -- we were given to try to respond to and negotiate was much, much shorter. there was a desire to get a certain point and they got there. >> i would say i agree with your answer. as chairman. senator klobuchar. >> thank you. thank you, attorney general holder. i told you the other day senator lee and i are heading up the antitrust subcommittee and holding a hearing on the merger. but i'm wondering your views on
some of the areas where we will see more potential action in antitrust, whether it's transportation, whether it's in health care industry, whether it is with communications where there has been a lot of action in that area and what direction do you see the department taking with antitrust? >> you have hit many of the areas that are going to be our focus. communications. we are not talking about anything specific. and talking about spending time with regard to airline mergers. health care. all things that impact the american consumers. what we have tried to do in the antitrust division is focus our efforts in such a way that we benefit the american people with regard to lower prices, more competition and wherever we find the agricultural field, wherever we find instances there
is inappropriate activity being taken that will have a negative impact on the american consumer, we will be there. >> i look forward to that hearing. second thing i want to talk about was the issue of -- i have seen increases of it in my state. theft. we met at an electric company in minnesota about this. senator graham and i have a bill to up some of the penalties when copper and other metals are stolen from critical infrastructure. we are seeing nearly a billion dollars in damage across our country. the most striking example, 200 bronze stars were stolen from a grave in minnesota, from the graves of veterans and people are getting desperate to steal this metal. electric companies have been broken into 10 times in st. paul that experienced hundreds of thousands of dollars of damages. simply by having one pipes
stolen. it is dangerous. and one of the fears is because people have died because taking one pipe can do millions ofand i wanted you to comment on that. >> as i said to you, this is something that had not entered by consciousness and i have talked to a couple of people in the department who indicate that what you said was, in fact, problem and it is one that i think we need to devote resources to, attention to. again, this is not something that i was frankly aware of. but given the nature of what people have told me within the department, which is the potential harm not only in the theft of the material, but the problems that the theft actually present sip tates, houses blowing up, gas lines being ruptured, that this is something that we have to -- it's a new problem that we are
going to have to focus on. >> briefly on this, i wanted you to know i'm continuing work on drug courts. a former congressman talked about this in the last congress about how drug courts have transformed the way we handle criminal cases. they are incredibly important as a prosecutor. i know you cared about this. we have a groundbreaking court and we have one in hennepin. i was pleased to see they are beginning to embrace drug courts for some offenders. the "new york times" had a story last weekend about federal judges administering drug court programs. california, connecticut, new hampshire, washington. if you want to comment briefly on that. >> i think that we have to try to use drug courts to a greater extent. they have germly proven to be successful. what we try to do is to use the criminal justice system in an appropriate way. sometimes people have to go to jail. a great number of people need to kick their habit. and if we can use the criminal
justice -- the penalties of the criminal justice system as a hammer to keep that over people's heads and keep them in treatment, we have seen amazing success rates and a much lower residism rate and saves us money over the long haul. >> in our state, we have one the lowest rates in the country and we we have one of the lower crime rates. i think it's important and i hope you'll support and the administration will support continued funding. we do have bipartisan support for it. >> that's one of those areas where we have to understand that whatever we invest up front, we are going to reap more money in savings down the roads. it is clear. >> and last thing i wanted to mention, you and i were in selma, alabama and part of the weekend was the way the police chief in montgomery handing over
to john lewis to apologize. and you gave a beautiful speech on sunday. and i wanted to follow up with some questions about that. we know the supreme court recently heard the voting rights act case. can you talk about the implication of a court decision for voting rights? >> i can't comment too much because it is an independent case. the united states were a different place. the south is a different place, and yet the need for section 5 i think is still evident. if you look at the cases we brought in the last 18 months, two years or so, in texas, south carolina, florida, the ability to preclear things that those states wanted to do, the findings made by the three- judge panels that supported the justice department's position, given all the progress we have made, the problems persist and section 5 which is a critical part of the voting rights act should remain a tool that we
have the ability to use. >> also just to note, i'm reintroducing the same-day registration bill and we have been able to have elections with the highest if not one of the highest voter turnouts in the country and i don't know if you know that is a long-term solution? >> we need to try to expand the number of people who participate and make it as easy as we can being mindful for the potential for fraud but come up with ways, same-day registration, portable registration and expanding the number of days people can cast ballots, that is the thing that dines this nation, our ability to vote, our ability to shape the congress that represents us on the state level as well. that's how people decide the
future of our nation. and efforts to restrict the vote i think have to be fought, efforts to expand the vote, ability of people to vote have to be supported. >> thank you, attorney general, for your good work. >> last month, i joined a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to your department asking for any and all memoranda you might have that seek to provide legal justification or legal framework for making decisions regarding the targeted killing of american citizens using drones. the letter noted that senior intelligence officials have indicated that your department's office of legal counsel had prepared some written, but nonpublic legal opinions that articulate the basis for that authority. and notwithstanding that
request, neither i nor members of this committee have received the o.l.c. memoranda. now somebody indicated earlier during this meeting that they thought that that memo, that the o.l.c. memo might have been leaked. it is not my understanding that it has been. what has been leaked is something that has been released by nbc news. it carries a heavy nbc watermark on it. it appears to provide a narrower perhaps more condensed legal analysis than what is available in the office of legal counsel memoranda. i turn back to the white paper in a minute, don't you think that this committee has an important oversight role over the department of justice's role in this analysis? >> yes, i do. and i have heard the committee expressly desire to see these memoranda and i will be bringing
that to the attention of the appropriate people within the administration. i'm not unsympathetic to what you are saying. >> you are the attorney general and they will respect the process. are you saying you will make that available to us as members of the judiciary committee? >> i will bring that desire and my view to those are in a position to make those kinds of determination. i'm only one of those people. >> i understand. you do have clients within the government and you have to consult with them. i would strongly urge you to make that pitch quickly and that's important for us to review that as members of the judiciary committee which has oversight over your department. one of the reasons i think that is so important as i reviewed this department of justice office of legal counsel -- not sure where, but the white paper, as i review that, it raises more questions in my mind than it answers.
the gist of this white paper as i see it says that the u.s. government may in fact target and kill american citizens using drones where there is an imminent threat, imminent threat of a national security sort to the united states, its citizens, its installations and so forth. that is a fairly familiar standard in the law and yet as you read on in this white paper, it becomes apparent to me that the definition of imminent used in this paper is different than almost any other definition i have seen. on page 7 of the white paper, the white paper goes so far as to suggest that imminent doesn't mean too imminent. specifically, it says that this condition, that of imminent,
does not require the united states to have clear evidence that a specific attack on u.s. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future. but i have to ask, mr. attorney general, what does it meanf it doesn't mean something imminent? >> part of the problem is what we talked about in the previous question. i think the white paper becomes more clear if it can be eed in conjunction with the underlying o.l.c. advice. in the speech that i gave at northwestern, i talked about imminent threat and i said it incorporated three factors, a relevant window, opportunity to attack, the possible harm it would cause to civilians and
heading off all future disasters and attacks against the united states. that's part of it. and without taking the position one way or the other, it is one of the strongest reasons why the sharing of the opinions -- the advice, the o.l.c. advice of this committee makes sense. >> you can understand my concern, as a lawyer who really knows a lot about these things you understand if that were the standard could be manipulated and give americans a lot of pause. i strongly encourage you to make that available to us. there are other aspects of the white paper that trigger this concern and i would like to find out if your response is the same. the white paper notes that the president must find in order for a drone attack on a u.s. citizen to occur, that the president must make a finding that capture of the individual is not feasible. but then the white paper goes on to state that capture is by operation of the memo's analysis, not feasible, if it could not be physically
effectuated during the relevant window. it makes no definition of the relevant window of opportunity. meaning whatever it is that the president decides it is. and can you understand how that could be cause for concern? and isn't that fraught for manipulation? >> there is a certain degree of objectivity there in the sense that people become potentially captureable overseas venues at certain times and they become -- that window of opportunity creases to exist when they move or we lose track of them. so that i tend to understand. >> so do i understand you saying that the office of legal counsel memorandum which we might have the opportunity to review would provide further
clarification on this point and would answer some of the questions that we have about the vagueness of that standard? >> i'm not sure. i'm just not sure. >> let me ask one other question, on another related point. in the last few months members of your department including assist ant attorney general perez have stated that the department of justice is considering certain reforms to the voter registration system. for example, perez stated that it should be the government's responsibility to automatically register citizens to vote compiling from data bases that exist. these statements and others can be read to suggest that there might be an increased role for the federal government to play in voter registration. voter registration is something as you know has been carried
out exclusively by the states so it raises some federalism- related concerns with regard to the traditional role in running elections. is it the department's view that it has current statutory authority to promulgate regulations that would centralize voter registration in the federal government or increase the federal government's role in elections? >> the department of justice trying to incentivize states to come up with mechanisms so they would come up -- i mean, this is something that is of primary responsibility of the states. i think the federal government can help the states in the carrying out of that responsibility. >> you would agree that the federal government lacks
statutory authority to centralize it? >> yes. but there are certain times when the federal government -- there are statutes that allow the federal government to become involved in the election processes that are normally carried out by the states. >> thank you, attorney general. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> great to be with you again. let me start with one question that has been fairly uniform across this entire committee today from chairman leahy to senator lee about the killing of the target. i share the frustration and concerns about transparency on targeted killings and one specific question on that. would you as we go forward support any form of judicial review in this context including the limited sort we have in fisa. would this move it forward? >> that is worthy of consideration. i want to make sure that the
inclusion of a court did not, for instance, have some kind of inhibitting impact in the operations, but i think as john brennan testified during his confirmation hearings that is something worthy of consideration and something we ought to think about potentially making a part of the decision-making process. >> i look forward to working with you on that. you can hear unanimous concern about transparency and how to move forward in a way that protects both our constitutional liberties and our security as a nation. we just spent a great weekend together in selma and wonderful to meet your wife and hear her family's role in an important piece of american history. as we sit wondering what will happen to section 5, i'm concerned about section 5 of the national voter registration act, the motor-voter act, something that isn't currently
under review. i'm hoping that the department is going to take up its enforcement obligation more actively. my sense is there have been very few actions taken on motor- voter and could make a positive contribution to voter participation. is the reason that there really hasn't been an active d.o.j. action a resource issue? we heard about sequester, or things we need to be doing to ensure that the critical part of this is used more actively? >> we have taken certain actions and we fide lawsuits against rhode island and louisiana, something going on in florida, these are matters that i think -- i'm not sure we are underenforcing it, but you hear this from all of the agencies that appear before you, we could use more when it comes to resources.
it's a vital tool. and to increase the number of eligible citizens that can vote and make sure they are accurate in federal elections. this is something we want to know and one of the things we talk to tom perez, my guess would be we would like to do more -- i need more people. i think that's what he would say. >> we would be happy to have that conversation given the critical importance of voting. and as you have discussed with other members of this panel today, should there be a change in the section 5, i would love to work with you if there is room going forward for expedited proceedings and making sure that the voting cases get heard and strengthening or placement of the voting rights act. another area where i think
resources is a critical issue and there may be a solution. in intellectual property, i come out of manufacturing and manufacturing relies on trade secrets protection as much as on patenting for critical steps in manufacturing. and there has been a barage of assaults and theft of theft of intellectual property. there was a report documenting just widespread and you have spoken to this theft of american intellectual property. but the number of prosecution around trade secrets has been very light and i understand the limitations of resources. would a federal private right of action help accelerate perhaps some of the assertion of rights and the ability to pursue justice on behalf of american manufacturers? >> that is something we should talk about and discuss. my instincts take me in the direction where you are and perhaps something we ought to
do. but i would like to work with you and have the appropriate people from the department sit down and meet with your staff and talk about that possibility. but i do think the theft of intellectual property, trade secrets has a devastating impact on our economy, threatens our national security and is worthy of our attention. this is a problem that is large but is getting larger and something as you look over the horizon this is an area we will have to devote more attention as a nation. >> i'm glad to hear you say that, probably the most greatest widespread theft in human history and it does have negative impacts. let me point to a few programs that have a positive impact and with a modest investment of federal resources have a positive impact on public safety. we were suppose to have a hearing today from kentucky and
delaware about the initiative. you feel, the weather has led to its cancellation. it is a place where bipartisan bills at the state level have led to critical investments in improving criminal justice systemses. the partnership is something i value highly. i had a police officer from that was shot twice in the chest and survived. their lives were saved by this program and we should reauthorize this program and i look forward to working with you on that. the victims of child abuse act and the choiled advocate centers it funds, that you're familiar with, i think they are an enormous resource. they are interviewed once and it has all the relevant folks
there. the ones that i visited in new castle county, the circumstances that leads to these interviews are tragic, the resource by our law enforcement community is terrific. i'm hoping i could rely on your support for restoring funding for this small but powerful program in the f.y. 12 budget. any thoughts on the centers? >> i was one of the people that started the children advocate centers. i know the positive impact it has on victims of crime. the decision to eliminate this funding was a difficult one. the office of justice programs, as i talked to them after i spoke to you has come up with ways in which they think they
can prioritize grant making and training to help in that regard. but i'm going to, you know, i think as we look at the budget for the next year that given what we get from the advocate centers and the relatively small amount that is involved that this has to be part of the next budget. i'm not satisfied with where we are now on the present budget. i think that was a mistake. >> thank you mr. attorney germ. i look forward to working with you. all of us here recognize we have forced far too many of the cuts we made in the last two years just in the narrow area of domestic discretionary area that has affects on criminal justice, infrastructure and education. i look forward to finding a brooder solution. i'm grateful for your service.
>> thank you. >> \[inaudible] >> senator blumenthal. >> good morning. thank you for being here and thank you for your leadership of the department of justice in scenarios that are so important. i want to thank you you and the president for your leadership on gun violence prevention, in particularly his and your commitment to the victims of newtown that are still grieving and hurting and your personal involvement trying to ease those continuing trauma that still affect themselves as repeatly as yesterday in our telephone conversation. i want to fose for the moment on gun violence prevention.
as a law enforcement professional, not just as attorney general but one that has been a judge and a prosecutor, we both agree that this ought to be the goal. yet, enforcement of some of these laws is em peeded by gaps in those laws, such as the absence of background checks on firearms, which now enables about 40% of all firearm purchases to go without any check whatsoever. you would agree with that, wouldn't you? >> we have loopholes as we describe them that makes the enforcement of existing laws
difficult and render those existing laws not nearly as effective as they might otherwise be. >> those laws prohibit purchase of firearms by categories of people, convicted felonies, drug addicts and domestic violence abusers. purchases of firearms and ammunition. both firearms and ammunition. right now there are no background checks as to purchases of ammunition, none whatsoever. as a matter of common sense as well as law enforcement professionalism, i think you would agree those laws are better enforced with background checks as to ammunition purchases. would you agree? >> i think -- i would like to discuss this with you some more. one of the concerns i have is a resource concern. i think theoretically what
you're talking about makes sense -- i don't mean to diminish it. i think it would have a positive impact. but the system i worry about being overburdened and making sure we would have the resources to do that. >> by way of background, i've asked two of the u.s. attorneys who have been active and aggressive and enforcers of these laws whether these laws can be enforced effectively without background checks on ammunition. to both both of us without a background check you do you have any effective way of enforcing that law, the prohibition of enforcing that law? his answer, no. when you're asked by my colleagues, why aren't you more
aggressively enforcing these laws, why don't we have more prosecution? the simple answer is there is no real way to enforce these bans on ammunition purchases or firearm purchase unless there are background checks. i understand and recognize with your point about resources. if we're serious about these gun violence prevention laws that keep ammunition and firearms out of the hands of criminals we need to strengthen the system so that we make these laws something more than just something that is a feel good set of words on a statute.
>> you're slewly right, senator. that is -- absolutely right, senator. that is part of what the president has proposed to make more resources available a so it can be used in a way to support existing laws. people who say you don't enforce the laws don't want to give us the tools to enforce those very laws. >> exactly. i want to thank you you and the president for that comment on resources. as a major component for the background check of ammunition, i'm looking for ways to modify this proposal so as to perhaps make it voluntary and give licensed dealers the access that they need to the system. as you know right now, they are barred from checking. they see somebody come in, a potential adam lanza who is buying hundreds of rounds, they have no way of checking whether he is a drug abuser, a domestic
abuser, akon victed felony, a fugitive, anyone in those prohinted categories. they are at a loss for basic information to try to protect the public. the best intention can't help them help you enforce the law. i'm hoping we can work together on this provision. i'm sympathetic on the resource issue. if it were my say alone, those resources would be available right now. >> let's see if we can work something out so you have that ability. >> thank you. let me move to another subject and i appreciate your answers on that one.
wrongful foreclosures. among the military mortgage holders, there has been recent reports, just a few days ago in "the new york times," 700 members of the military had homes seized and other borrowers who were current on their mortgage payments had homes seized. those improper evictions are dwarfing the numbers that were previously known. it is a sign of larger problem. a sign that the recent settlement may be based on untruthful information. more than an ample basis for an investigation for wrongful improper statements under federal law, punishable criminally. i would like your commitment, again, to work with me and others here to work on the
possibility of investigation based on those disclosures that undermine the good faith and fairness of the settlement and the government's involvement in it. >> i will make that commitment. when i saw that in regards to military service members, i did a take for something that is for veterans to make them aware of basic fraud that goes unreported by them. i tried to encourage them to share information of the chain of command. also make sure there is a mechanism from the defense department to the justice department that we're aware of trends they may exist along the line that you are describing. i will work with you on that. >> thank you. one final area that i think that should be an interest to you, sexual assault in the military is prosecuted and punished under its own system and yet, it is a predatorry criminal act that, in my view, should be punished with a severety and aggressiveness that is lacking right now. as a member of the armed services committee, i'm seeking to help increase the completeness and fairness of this system to protect men and women from sexual assault.
sometimes the most severe sexual assault imaginable. you have resources, a perspective as a prosecutor, obviously, the best prosecuters and investigative agency and i ask for your help with your expertise and prosecution of these laws. >> those are primarily the responsibility of the defense department. secretary panetta focused on that and i suspect that secretary hagel will as well. if we can help in that effort we want to do all we can. i think about the young people who put their lives on the line in service to our nation, young women in particular and look at numbers that you see repeatedly year after year. that is a disturbing thing to think that you volunteered for your nation and as a result you become a victim of sexual assault. that is not acceptable.
>> i want to make clear that my asking for your assistance is not to den grade the good faith and efforts of secretary hagel and the joint chiefs and all the military leadership to making this system work better. they are, in my view, thoroughly committed to that goal. thank you. >> thank you. >> it's been my experience that any time i call attorney general holder on any issue i was able to contact almost
immediately and i appreciate that. i appreciate that you came here today, i realize we're under horrible snow conditions, i think it is half an inch now. i had -- i head a weather report that for home that we had a weather report and snow would be gusting no more than 5-6 inches. in other news today, that the 5-6 inches would be interrupting a presidential press conference.
one more question and we'll wrap up. >> this won't take seven minutes. i did run over seven minutes, like we had several people here run over three minutes. on the issue of bank progs. -- bank prosecution. i'm concerned that we have a mentality too big to jail spreading from fraud cases to terrorists cases and i site msnbc. -- i site hsbc. that is background for this question, i don't have recollection of d.o.j. prosecuting any high profile financial criminal convictions in either companies or individuals. assistant attorney general brewer said that one reason why the d.o.j. has not brought out prosecutions because it reaches out to "experts" to see what the prosecutions would have on
the financial markets. so senator brown and i requested on details on who these so- called "experts" are. so far we have not received any information. maybe you're going to but why have we not been provided the experts that the d.o.j. consults that we requested on january 29. we need to find out why we're not having these high-profiles cases. then i have a formalup. >> we did not, as i understand it, retain experts outside the government in making determinationses. if we can put that aside, the
concern that you have raised is one that i share. i'm not that you can talking about hsbc now. i'm concerned the size of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we're hit with indications that if you do prosecutor, if you bring a -- prosecute, if you bring a negative charge it will be have an impact on the world economy. that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large. this is a general comment. i think it has an inhibiting impact to bring resolutions that i think would be more appropriate. ic that is something that we all need to consider. the concern that you raise is one that i share. >> then do you believe that the investment bankers who were repackaging and selling bad mortgages were committing a criminal fraud?
or is a case of just not being aggressive and effective enough to have the information to prove that they did something fraudulent and criminal? >> we looked at those kind of cases and i think we've been appropriately aggressive. these are not easy cases to make. you sometimes look at these cases and you see that things were done wrong. the question is whether or not they were legal. the people in our criminal division and in our attorney's office has been as aggressive as they could be. i know in some instances that is not a satisfying answer to
people but we have, as i said, as aggressive as we could have been. >> if you constitutionally enjail a c.e.o. a major corporation you're going to send a wide signal to stop active ty that people think they can get away with. thank you very much. >> you're absolutely right. the greatest turn in effect is to prosecute the individuals in the cooperation that are responsible for those decisions. we did that in the u.b.s. matter that we brought and we try to do that when we can. the point you make is a good one. >> thank you. again, i appreciate you being here. i'll probably see you at the signing of the violence against women act. >> tomorrow. >> we had to leave out the important law enforcement and i hope you work with us when we do immigration reform. that will complete the whole legislation. it would protect victims but it
will help law enforcement have a better chance of prosecuting people who have shown violence against women. >> mr. chairman, thank you for you leadership on that. >> you were every step of the way. the fact that we could get a strong bipartisan help and i know that the senator from minnesota talked to a lot of people on the other side of the aisle. it was nice to have senators do things together and the country is better off for it. we stand in recess for it. >> we the public have the right to know how many civilians have been killed and where. what about secondary strikes to rescue workers.
we just came back from pakistan and we met family who is lost their loved ones, 176 children killed by drone strikes? how can we say that is legal? if it is a mistake, who is going to pay for that mistake? attorney general we have the right to get answers for this, not just the people no congress but we the public. you're doing the drone killing out of our name. >> three out of four americans killed by mistake. you admitted. >> is it true that the c.i.a. -- \[inaudible] is there more to "the new york time" senator feinstein said that she was unaware.
>> is that legal to kill every male military aid, what happens if another country tried to do that here in the united states? the precedent that we're setting that we're a world of chaos. because this hearing is over we the public finally get to say something. because during the hearing we could not hold the signs above our shoulders. we need to stop justifying killing drones. stope justifying killing drone strikes. we're making more enemies and we're playing in the hands of
extremists like al qaeda. this is a national security threat and we're the citizens speaking up for our national security because our government isn't doing anything to make us secure. you're making us more hated around the world, which means more attacks against us. >> target of assassinations is not what this country stands for. this is an outrage against our way of life. how are they supposed to do any kind of oversight? >> senator lee said he was disappointed. why does want he issue a subpoena?
>> the president wants transparency, who is keeping this away from the president, who is above the president? >> for more than a year they asked for the memos and the administration didn't give them. when they said they would hold off brennan's confirmation the administration handed over the memos. senator lee wants the memos he has to issue the subpoena. >> we the public need to see these memos. >> why this administration, who said they would be the most transparent have not been transparent. it is more than just the memos, we want to see how they can justify how they kill americans, what about 176 children that have been killed by the drobe
strikes? are those mistakes? will somebody be held accountable for those mistakes? those mistakes will continue. we want to know why the c.i.a. has the right to use lethal drones. it is not a military organization. it should not have the authority to use lethal weapons like drone. >> i would like to ask senator graham about killing americans, which he seems to condone. senator graham was one of the torture component is now acomponent for drones that are killing american citizens. we have a lot to hold the congress accountable for. not shutting down the government to get after these memos. there are ways to go after getting the memos.
>> can you go out in the holloway. we don't allow press conferences in here. >> senator feinstein said after the hearing she was unaware of reports that the c.i.a. was counting military mail as militants when they were justifying drone strikes. six months after this was reported after "the new york times." six months. senator feinstein, unaware of what was reported in "the new york times" on drone strikes. >> that is not an area of her official responsibility.
>> designed to curb illegal gun trafficking. one of four gun measures the committee will work on. but coverage tomorrow morning at 10:00 eastern on c-span. on c-span3, a panel with the head of the interior department. questions from senators on the energy and natural resources committee. live at 10:00 eastern. >> c-span is pleased to announce the winners in 2013 studentcam competition. it is our annual student documentary contest where we ask young people to use video to tell us about issues important to us. they must include c-span coverage along the way. this team was a message to the president. what is the most important issue you think the president should
consider in 2013? we received a record number of entries. almost 2000 from 44 different states. we are giving away $50,000 at the decathlon -- cash prizes. -- giving away $50,000 and the cash prizes. here are some of the top issues this year. our top prize winner was interested in something related to the economy. his issue was unemployment. his name is josh stokes. he attends high school at daniel hand in madison, connecticut and watches c-span there. here is josh getting the good news earlier this week. >> hi, i'm calling from c-span by your documentary that he submitted for this year's studentcam competition. we received a record number of entries and you have been
selected as this year's grand prize winner. congratulations. >> thank you. >> you will also win $5,000. >> oh my gosh. >> can you tell us why he selected unemployment as this year's most important issue for the president to consider? >> my dad knows a lot of people who are unemployed. it was easy to find someone to do a documentary about. >> and judges were impressed by your coverage of the issue and your interviews. you interviewed an unemployed man who could illustrate the point of the fsx that issue has on people in this country. can you share something you learned about unemployment throughout the process? >> i learned it affects more
than not just earning money. your self-esteem and everything. >> what was your favorite part of creating the documentary? >> filming, adding. -- editing. i loved doing it all. >> congratulations on being this year's grand prize winner. >> thank you. >> here is a little flavor of the documentary he put together on unemployment. [video clip] >> come to madison, conn. unemployment is one of the biggest problems facing america today. a two hour train ride will take you into downtown manhattan. population -- over 1 million. a staggering 8.5% are unemployed. >> this is the worst economic recovery in 70 years. >> the united states has lost
42,000 factories since 2001. >> our congratulations once again to josh stokes for his top prize in studentcam this year. now for the high school and middle school and trees. alan is a special young man, just 11 but he is in the 10th grade in pennsylvania. he watches c-span there. he chose his topic at the national debt. alan will receive $3,000 in
prize money. first prize in middle school goes to a team that competed -- at team that competed. their topic was public transportation. they attend target mills school in tennessee -- farragut middle school in tennessee. they will be sharing a $3,000 prize. among the nearly 2000 entries, there were 75 winners. all of them are available for you to see on our website at studentca,.org. in april, we will show the top entries. >> on the next washington journal, walking castro -- joaquin castro takes questions about immigration and automatic spending cuts. you can call in with your questions to tomblin talk -- to
tom clintock. washington journal and live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> the house of representatives voted to keep the federal government funded until the end of the fiscal year, avoiding a potential government shutdown. we spoke to a reporter earlier for some background following this interview, we will show you some of the floor debate. >> jim rowley is a congressional responded for bloomberg news. what are the bill's prospects in the senate? >> this bill will probably be written substantially. the appropriations committee members were anxious to replace
a completely with an appropriations bill that would put all of the 12 appropriation bills into the bill. however leadership has decided that would be too cumbersome and complicated. the house republicans said today they are open to negotiating a redistribution of the spending cuts in this bill. but they are firm in their statement we cannot increase the top line #. >> the bill as a republican bill. how do senate republicans do this house measure? >> i think the senate republicans would be just as happy to go along with this bill. there may be some spending priorities.
there are several bipartisan bills. i think democratic leadership has calculated it would be very complicated. it is controversial for them to put certain aspects of the spending appropriation plan into effect. republicans would block that. harry reid tries to find a bill with 60 votes, it will get 60 votes. >> how is the continuing resolution to address cuts that already went into effect with the sequester are march 1? >> they implement the sequester, this bill was written at the spending level of $1.034 trillion. this is for defense.
not entitlements like medicare and social security. that is what prompted a lot of complaints. it does nothing to stop the sequester which they say is onerous. >> the current short-term spending measure is march 27. what is the process from here? >> the end game is to try to get a bill that will pass both houses. there may be some ping pong in the capital. dave would try to pass something again that the senate would agree to. at the minimum, the senate will try to get a bill entered the back to the house.
at that point there might be negotiations between the house and senate leaders. everybody is saying they do not want to shut down. >> what are the administration's priorities in this continuing resolution? >> they issued a statement of policy on this. the president said he would sign something said to him. if this passes, we would advise the presence -- the president to veto it. did not like the fact most -- like the fact most are forced to deliver initiatives. there is no increase in
flexibility and in terms of moving money around. jim rowley, thank you for the update. >> i rise to present hr 9 33, the department of defense and military construction and veterans affairs appropriations. our nation faces a three-pronged threat to its finances. as we deal with sequestration, the debt ceilin and most immediately, a looming government shutdown. this bill takes the risk of a government shutdown off the table. funding the government for the mainder of the fiscal year while helping maintain our national security and providing our troops and veterans with consistent, adequate funding. first and foremost, this bill
contains fiscal year 2013 appropriations bills for the department of -- department offings defense an veterans affairs. these bills crafted by chairman bill young, chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, and very handily done, these bills passed the house with broad, bipartisan support last year, they've been negotiated on a bipartisan basis by the house and senate and agreed to by the senate committee. they do not add a cent to the overall top line of the c.r. and i want to take a minute here to thank bill young and his subcommittee who did such a tremendous job of balancing the interests of the country but with the overriding concern for the security of the country as they drafted and passed on a
bipartisan basis the defense appropriations bill. last week, i had the opportunity to ask the joint chiefs of our military if they supported this c.r. package. and the answer was an absolute, whole-hearted yes. in fact, each one of them was ked if it was critical and each one of the joint chiefs said, this is critical. -- critical to the defense of the country. this legislation addresses severe funding constraints that would put our national security in dire straits. militaryospitals wld not be built, veterans would not be cared for adequately, and our readiness would be seriously jeopardized. with sequestration now in effect, this bill allows the
pentagon some leeway to do it best with what it has. the bill provides $518 billion, the same top level -- top line level as last year. within this top line, accounts have to be reprioritized to ensure adequate investment in critical programs such as operation and maintenance while finding savings in lower priority areas. the legislation right sizes spending that would otherwise have been wasted. for instance, we eliminate funding for ueeded spare parts and save funding from outdated programs and projects related to operations in iraq. -- in iraq no longer needed. in addition, the bill provides $71.9 billion in discretionary
funding for military construction and veterans affairs. to ensure that our veterans get the care they've earned and that the quality of life in our military is continued. this includes an increase of about $2.5 billion in veterans funding, offset by savings in military construction. the remainder of the bill, mr. speaker, funds the rest of the federal government until the end of the fiscal year on september 30. nearly all funding will remain consistent with current levels, except for the very few exceptions that are needed to prevent catastrophic changes to government programs or to ensure good government. these include provisions allowing critical law enforcement entities to maintain current staffing levels, additional funding for embassy security, and critical
weather satellite launches and an extension of the current pay freeze for federal employees including members of the congress. we've also required every single federal agency to provide spending plans to congress to ensure transparency oversight of taxpayer dollars. nearly all the funding in this bill is subject to the president's sequestration bringing the grand total for discretionary spending to around $984 billion. the bill is designed to help with the damage caused by continually putting off the regular annual appropriations bills buit does not solve the many serious problems caused by these automatic spending cuts in sequestration. a full year continuing resolution is not the way this
congress should be appropriating taxpayer dollars. each year, we should assess the needs and excesses of our government and make decisions accordingly in the regular appropriations process. we must return to regular order , pass individual spending bills on time and fulfill our constitutional duty to fund government programs wisely and effectively. to do all of this, we haveo have a partner in the senate and we ve not had that for these several years. our hope springs eternal that the senate will help us get back to regular order. in light of the circumstances we face, we must make a good faith effort to provide limit bud fair and adequate funding for vital government programs and services through the end of the fiscal year. it's up to congress to make these decisions to set the
course for our financial future. we must act now to make the most of this difficult situation and that starts with avoiding a government shutdown on march 27 and providing for our national defense and our veterans. this c.r. package is the right thing to do, the right time to do it, and it's the fair thing. so i urge, mr. speaker, my colleagues, to show our nation that we can get our work done by supporting this bill. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. low -- mrs. lowey: before us contains a defense bill and a military construction veterans affair bill adjusting the f.y. 2012 funding levelto meet f.y.
2013 needs. it is unacceptable that federal agencies and departments covered by the 10 remaining bills would be forced to operate under full-year continuing resolutions based on plans, spending levels enacted 15 to 18 months ago. congress' failure to do our job and pass responsible annual spending bills limits our ability to respond to changing circumstances, implement other laws enacted by congress and eliminate funding that is no longer necessary. specifically, this bill will delay implementation of the affordable care act scheduled to begin enrolling participants in october. without i.t. infrastructure to process enrollment and
payments, verify eligibility and establish call centers, health insurance for millions of americans would be further delayed. last year's levels will hamper enforcement of dodd-frank protections against improper practices in the financial sector. the bill underfunds head start, child care, essential for many working parents who would otherwise have to quit their jobs. the bill fails to strike outdated language allowing h.u.d. to use public housing agency reserves to fund operations or provide a requested increase to make up for the shortfall resulting in the lowest per unit operating subsidy since 2007 despite rising housing costs. th bill we consider today even denies increases for health
care fraud and abuse control and social security disability reviews and s.s.i. eligibility determinations, both of which return more money to the treasury than they cost. and the continuing resolution excludes loan guarantees for jordan necessary to help an important ally stabilize his economy. the effects my colleagues, of these outdated plans and spending levels in the continuing resolution are compounded by congress' failure to replace sequestration with a balanced, responsible, long-term debt reduction plan. the congressional budget office estimates that sequestration would cut economic growth in 2013 by a third.
that's jobs,hat's people's lives. last year, our fragile economy struggledo create a total of $2 -- of 2.2 million jobs. c.b.o. says sequestration will wipe out, getid of, 750,000 jobs, more than a third of all the jobs created last year. now i want to make it very clear, my colleagues, this bil reaffirms sequestration the terrible impact of those indiscriminate cuts will begin to take effect. this summer, we can expect significant flight delays, long lines at airports due to furloughs and air traffic controllers, and a hiring freeze and reduced hours for transportation security officers. yesterday, the labor-hhs subcommittee heard testimony
from the directors of the national institutes of health and c.d.c. on the detrimental effects these irresponsible cuts will have, include degree clining medical research. fewer child vaccinations, reduced protections against epidemics, just try and explain that to dear friends and neighbors who have children with autism. seniors who are dealing with alzheimer's. friends who have heart, cardiology issues. just try and explain what the national institutes cuts in research will do in addition to the impact and research on these issues. these are real people who are going to be laid off and impede our future research all americans rely on timely and accurate weather warnings and forecasts from the national weather service, reduced resources will compromise
critical satellites, radar, computer analysis, and modeling. now i am pleased that two bills, the defense bill and t military construction and veterans bill, are the f.y. 2013 bills that were agreed on by the house and senate but my colleagues, let's not forget that sequestration will still strike our national defense ev if this bill is enacted. another $46 billion will be subtracted from defense spending. most of the civilian work force will face significant furloughs, readiness will still face cuts, and defense health care will need to make some very tough choices with scarce resources. mr. speaker, i cannot mr. speaker, i cannot support this bill because it fails to take responsible steps to
support the middle class and really -- in really tough economic times or responsibly address the long-term fiscal health of our nation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady from new york, mrs. lowey, reserve? the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: i yield three minutes to the very distinguished and hardworking chairman of the house armed services committee the gentleman from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. >> i thank the gentleman, the chairman of the appropriations commtee,or yielding, and thank him for the great work he's done for getting this bill to the floor. likewise the chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee. they have done yeomen work to help provide for a national defense. mr. mckeon: i agree with much of what the gentlelady from new york, my good friend, said. sequestration is bad. and if we don't pass this c.r.,
we'll feel worse than the effects of the sequestration, we'll shut down the whole government. nobody wants to see that. and so i commend her for what she says. this is not perfect. but it keeps a lot of people working. i think it's very, very important that we get it done. as chairman of the house armed services committee, i'm happy to see us voting to include a full year appropriations -- defense appropriations bill, as well as full year military construction and veterans affair bill. this is very important. at least we have one committee thatan do regular order still, and i think that is very important. enacting a full year d.o.d. appropriations bill is the first ep toward restoring funding for our military which has been whip sod by the dual combination of the sequester and the c.r. we are operating under. none of our currently serving
overseas, the chief of the army, navy, air force, marines, including the chief of -- all of the services, in their time have ever operated under a real budget. most of the members of congress haven't served under regular order in seeing how we have really done. so this is step forward to get us back to regular order. a full year appropriation will allow the service chiefs to cancel programs that we have already canceled in the defense authorization act. it allows them to restore critical shortfalls in their operation and maintenance accounts, and add baca certain amount of training and flying hours. this legislation does not by any members solve sequestration, but it gives our commanders much needed flexibility and gives us time to work on a house budget that restores funding for our military. let me give you just a couple of quick examples of why we need to
pass this package and encourage the other body to return to regular order. because a straight c.r. still pipes funding in certain accounts, the chief of staff of the army is looking at having to curtail 37,000 hours of flying for helicopter pilots at forerutger in alabama where our helicopter pilots go to be trained. that's about 500 to 750 pilots who will not be trained. units preparing now to deploy to afghanistan are not receiving the same training as those who are there now fighting. that is shameful. we need to restore those accounts. th puts those who are preparing to go at greater risk once they arrive in theater. aull year d.o.d. appropriation which we'll be voting on today, the general will have the authority to restore a lot of those flying hours and critical
training for those who are preparing to deploy. just another little example, admiral greener, chief of naval operations has said that if he had the funding that would come from the appropriations bill that we are voting on, he would have the flexibility to move money between accounts. and the navy would be able to keep a carrier strike group and amphibious ready group in the middle east and the pacific through next year. that is crucial to our national security. i would encourage all of our colleagues to support this bill. it's not the perfect but it takes us a long step toward helping secure our national security. i thank the chairman and the chairman of the subcommittee for their great work, yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized.
mrs. lowey: mr. mckeon, i just want to emphasize again that the general and the recent appropriations hearing on the defense bill testified that sequester would be a disaster for the military, and it's unfortunate that we are not riing ourselves of the prospect of the disaster that the sequester bill will result in. i'm delighted to yield two minutes to my distinguished leader, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to address their comments to the chair and not to other members of the house. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. . hoyer: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hoyer: i agree with the gentlelady who has just spoken. i want to say to my friend, mr. mckeon, this is neither regular order nor rational policy. it ought to be rejected. this c.r. does nothing to
address the irrational cuts to defense and nondefense that the sequester will require. it could be very harmful to our economy and to our national security and place the most vulnerable in america at great risk. we should not allow, my collgues, our government to shut down. but we cannot do business this way. lurching from one manufactured crisis to the next. when we make agreements, we ought to stick to them. and the agreement was, as the chairman has tried to put forward, and i want to congratulate him for that, that we would spend on the discretionary side of the budget at about $1.43 trillion. that is not what this bill cost. -- does. it breaks the deal. nobody expected sequester to take place. and we ought to obviate it because it will hurt defense, our national security, and our
domestic security. mr. speaker, we made an agreement. we ought to keep it. that's not what we have in this c.r. while the defense funding in this package is something i would like to vote for, and the procedures incorporated in the bill i would like to vote for -- let me say as an aside, that is regular order. because when we usually pass c.r.'s, we do it for house paed bills levels, senate passed bill levels, conference levels, but not at a level a year ago. the reason they amended defense and veterans and milcon is because it is irrational and they recognize it's irrational as it relates to the national security. you ought to recognize the irrationalness of the rest of the budget. i ask for another minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a minute. mr. hoyer: while defense funding in this package is something i would like to vote for, it would continue to support the critical
national security programs, portant in my district but more important than that, important in our country. if congress face tface every manner of manufactured crisis every other month, we cannot govern rationally and it will hurt our people, our economy, and our security. when dysfunction rusts the wheels of congress, it is the american people who suffer. our defense community and the industries will also suffer greatly from the uncertainty that result. i want to vote for appropriati bills that keep the promise we made to each other. i want to vote for appropriations bills that enable us to limit the negative impact of sequestration on our defense community and the most vulnerable in our society, but this c.r. does not do that. this vote will do nothing to lessen the effects of the see quester whose impact is already being felt -- sequester whose impact slr being felt in my district and throughout the country. that is what tells me to vote no on this c.r.
i represent 62,000 federal employees, i do not want this government to shut down. that is an irrational policy even in see questions her. -- sequester. may i have additional 30 seconds. it demands we vote no on this and pass a c.r. that object veeates sequester. i urge my colleagues to defeat this c.r. so we can send a message to those who control this chamber that we have a responsibility to our country and to our people to adopt a balanced fiscal plan to reduce our debt and deficit, invest in the growth of the economy. that is not what this bill does.
>> i didn't know if senator lee was -- thank you, mr. attorney general. we've been talking about the war on terror ever since you've had this job, right? >> during confirmation, yes. >> absolutely. and i really -- i want to congratulate you and the president. i think you've thought long and hard about how to fend the homeland in very difficult circumstances. i want to applaud your efforts with the drone program. i think it has really helped us in afghanistan and pakistan, and i just believe it's a tactical tool that this president should be using, and i think he's using it responsibly now, as to the homeland, is al qaeda actively involved in recruiting american citizens to their cause? >> american citizens? i certainly know of efforts that al qaeda has made to recruit
american citizens. >> we won't disclose that the al qaeda organization is actively involved in seeking american silt zen support. in every war we've had, unfortunately american citizens have sided with the enemy. they have been few in number, but that does happen, is that correct? >> it does happen occasionally. >> as a matter of fact, we had american citizens helping german saboteurs who tried to blow up infrastructure in the united states in world war ii, are you familiar with that? >> those cases were tried right down the hall from my office. >> they were tried right down the hall. so it's a long-standing proposition in american law that an american citizen who joins the forces of our enemies can be considered an enemy combatant, do you agree with that? >> yes. >> so the point i'm trying to make is that hypothetically, if there are patriot missile batteries around this capitol and other key government infrastructures to protect the capitol from an attack, it would be lawful for those batteries to
launch, is that correct? >> to launch -- >> against the threat? if there was a -- if there was intelligence that an airplane was coming toward the capitol or the white house, it had been hijacked -- >> i see, okay. >> it would be okay for our military to act, wouldn't it? >> yes. >> that would be an imminent threat. the military has legal authority under the constitution and the authorization to use military force to strike back against al qaeda, is that correct? >> yes. >> now, when we say congress gave every administration the authorization to use military force against al qaeda, we didn't exempt the homeland, did we? >> no, i don't think we did. >> wouldn't that be kid of crazy to exempt the homeland, the biggest prize, to say that the military can't defend america here in an appropriate circumstance? >> no, i think that's right. the question obviously is what forces do we use, but i think we
have that authority. >> and i totally agree with you that the likelihood of capture is very high in america and we have a lot of law enforcement agencies available and that we would put them out front. but certainly most law enforcement agencies i know of don't have patriot missile batteries, so that's a good example of where the military can provide capacity to protect the homeland against a terrorist act that law enforcement can't. >> and that would be -- that would be the rare case. but in the letter that i sent to senator paul, that's one of the reasons why i referenced september 11th. >> let's go back in time. what would we all give to have those patriot missile batteries available on september the 10th, 2001, in new york and washington? it would have meant that we'd have lost a planeload of american citizens, but we'd save thousands more. that's the world in which we live in. and i want to stand by you and the president to make sure that we don't criminalize the war and
that the commander in chief continues to have the authority to protect us all. and i've got a lot of my colleagues who are well meaning. but there is only one commander in chief in our constitution. do you agree with that? >> that's true. and the situation that you describe on september 11th would have been -- was, i guess, among the most difficult decisions that president bush, vice president cheney had to give that order and i think it was appropriate. >> and i hope you're never put in that position, but i want you to know from senator graham's point of view that you have the authority in my view from the constitution, the authorization to use military force to take such actions. and i know you will if put in that position. now, about where this war is going. we're winding down afghanistan. do you think the al qaeda threat is over? >> no. the al qaeda threat, as we knew it i'd say traditionally focused in pakistan.
core al qaeda has been greatly weakened but there are nodes in different places, on the arabian peninsula, in north africa, that we have to be concerned with. >> what would your message be to any american citizen thinking about collaborating with al qaeda to attack the united states at home or abroad? what would you want to say to them? >> that you do so at your risk. if you align yourself with al qaeda, you are in fact taking arms against your nation and you then will be subject to the full weight of the american military. >> and law enforcement community as well. >> and law enforcement. whatever tools we have.
>> i would include goods that are mislabeled because they are made in another country. the subsidies they receive from china including the reduced price on oil and aid that is not completely under the control of the north korean government. i would say that it is going to be very hard to force this regime to change its behavior and give up its nuclear weapons
because that is what qaddafi did. the sense of his past visited him notwithstanding his promise or change in behavior. he did not have nuclear weapons. he is no longer with us. that is a good day except to the extent it shows north koreans what can happen. can you tell me in terms of billions of dollars how that money shakes down? dr. lee. >> it is hard to pin down numbers. there have been reports that north korea makes several hundreds of millions of dollars in the sales of weapons. less than a billion. the north korean economy is
small in terms of per capita gdp. it is one of the lowest in the world. the only country in the asia- pacific with a smaller economy is burma. it is a 40 million our economy. when north korea was exporting around the year 2000, about half $1 billion worth of goods. this is soon after the years. korea gave north korea cash and other rendition is including food, fertilizer, worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. over the course of a decade, south korea gave north korea unconditionally over $10 billion in aid. i do not want to say that was an
unnecessary condition to prolonging the regime, what it was a factor. that kind of unconditional nondiscriminating aid i do not think is in the best interest of the international community. south korea still has a major joint economic venture with north korea. the industrial complex. the sum that north korea makes from that enterprise is $20 million or so per year. on a huge sume -- not a huge sume. >> how much do they get from china? >> probably over $1 billion worth of goods per year, which is a drop in the bucket for the chinese economy. >> the missile side of the
leisure, north korea made significant money from selling missiles. when they have mental -- initial launches, it is an approach to telling everyone these things. with things tightening up, the markets are not therefore north korea. they are hurting with respect to missile sales. they must have made quite a bit of money with the program that was selling nuclear technology. there is a bit of pressure on north korea with respect to foreign reserves and getting the capital necessary to sustain that element of lifestyle for the elite in pyongyang. on the china side, things are tightening up. china is looking at things closely. the government is looking at
significant financial problems. >> north korea has been exporting monetary gold. if you are trying to tighten up the financial offense against north korea, look at these precious metals as a sanctioned item. a are marked with the north korean emblem. when they are not, the goals can be assayed precisely as to where its origin precisely emanates from. our estimates in 2005 of north korea's earnings was between $800 billion -- $800 million and a billion dollars. that has declined. it is increasing. >> thank you. we will go to mr. marino. >> let me say that i do not
consider a retired basketball player showing up at his own pr commercial -- commercial a serious ambassador representing the united states. as far as the terrorist state of the ran == iran, the u.s. will protect israel from the front annex -- fanatics that control iran. have been asked what we can specifically do. i will ask the same question again but from a different angle. can each of you address what countries and businesses within those countries do business
directly or indirectly with north korea knowing that china is that the top of the list. we do a great deal of business with china. they hold most of our outside deck. it is complex. there is no single answer. can you elaborate on the specifics of what we do with those individuals? >> china is she -- china is kety,.. the european union in the past had considerable interactions with north korea. it has diminished given north korea's that behavior. my simple answer is china. without china, the north korean economy crumples.
>> dr. lee. >> we do new -- we know of north korean institutions that engage in illicit activities. there is a long list. an executive order in just 30 or so north korean entities including individuals. the most recent un security counsel adopted in january list for north korean individuals by name. a couple of those are associated with north korea's space program, science and technology. the other two are associated with the north korean company commercial bank. it has a long history of engaging in illicit activities. there is also in the un security council resolutions a freeze on the assets owned by a north
korean bank. the problem is not necessarily identifying sufficient numbers of targets but implemented -- implementing those targets. >> let us talk about the realities. what ramifications will the united states face and taking action against countries and businesses that are doing business or promoting north korea whether that is through china or some other entity? what are we looking at? >> it was when we designated in 2005 when the chinese acted against illicit activities. they spring to life as a partner of ours for a year. once we eliminate tax, it ended. i saw no -- once we remedied
that it ended. the chinese were scared we were going to designate other banks where we made them aware we have observed the same activities but at a larger scale. they acted in a businesslike faction -- fashion. they did not direct to sell off their treasury bond holdings or anything extreme. we got a responsible response from the chinese government. if we were to reimpose certain measures in a transparent fashion, of holding chinese entities responsible for their complicit activities with north koreans, they would shun their north korean partners. >> thank you, panel, for your
discussion. we have heard some horrifying -- it is horrifying to your some of the things you are talking about, human rights violations, a malicious -- illicit activities, counterfeiting money. the nuclear capacity is disturbing and assisting iran in its procurement of a nuclear weapon. what is the end game, what do we want to accomplish? north korea has 21 million people. it is in a strategic location. if we could cure these ills, what is the end game? >> our policy is a verified disarmament of the north korea nuclear program. that has become a fantasy.
we wish that could be the case. we need to take a range of measures to try to undermine the north korean nuclear program, which i will not talk about in detail. one can guess what those are. it begins with a counter network operations initiative. it would extend into special measures that can be taken that would try to interfere with the integrity of north korea's facilities as they threaten to reading gauge -- reengage. we will have to look at north korean embassies around the world and whether they should have diplomatic sovereignty if they are engaged in commercial conduct in the sale of weapons of mass destruction. that is not allowed under the geneva conventions. >> the ultimate end game is to encourage, take action to
facilitate the emergence of a single free korean state. this is a long-term project. this marks the 60th anniversary of the korean war. the best way to honor those great souls who answered the call to defend a country they never knew of people they never met, that is for prudent policymakers in washington and korea to come together to lay the foundation for a genuine, permanent peace in the korean peninsula and deliver the people from bondage. >> the first step is to come back to the september 2005 joint statement. we had kim jong-il commit to it. he committed to declare
colorization -- denuclearization. he needs to commit to that joint statement as his father did and commit to the nuclear right station. a nuclear north korea with the potential for proliferation and the nuclear arms race that would engender, it is not tolerable. that should be where the tpr k is. they need security assurances. when they get their act together, they can become a normal state. then the two koreas -- this is the korean peninsula.
the first of has to be coming back to something they committed to in 2005. they have walked away from it saying they are a nuclear weapon state. we are talking about disarmament issues. >> i yield back. >> we go now to mr. weber. >> i do not remember which one of you it was that suggested that we get the treasury investigative authority. can you restate that argument again? i want to follow that through. then i have a question. >> the united states should pass a bill that allows for the expansion of designation of
prohibitive activity that is additional actions that would come under this bill as prohibited, including actions furthering north korea's illicit activities, sales of legal military equipment, small arms as well, and actions that further perpetrate the continuation of crimes against humanity. i would urge congress to pass a new bill that gives treasury investigative powers. that requires the treasury department to investigate suspicious actions, reports of suspicious activity. >> that is the question. that is on the monetary part. that is not in violations of human rights.
is that right? >> any activity that is linked to violations of human rights. i would call for that. the focus is on monetary illicit activity. >> through the treasury, are those types of activities already a part of what we watch? >> yes, but making it a law requiring the treasury department to take action with make a difference. >> that is my only question. >> we go now to congresswoman gabbert. >> thank you for being here today. i represent the second congressional district and hawaii, which experts have testified that hawaii with some of our was western states are within range of north korea.
this is an issue that israel as a state and as -- and also because of our -- this is an issue that is real for us because of our strategic location. i wonder your view on what the estimate is a when north korea may have a warhead missile combination that could strike the united states as well as your assessment of our missile defense and what we can do to prevent this and slow down their progress. >> they are quite a ways from having that capability. we are talking about miniaturizing the nuclear weapon and mating it to a delivery system and having that system the successful in reentry, bringing that warhead into target areas.
they are working toward it. this font and decent number was significant. putting a satellite in orbit. it was larger, more significant than the one previous to that in 2009. they are making progress. the are quite a ways. testing has to be done. the mating is difficult -- demating is difficult. the distance is quite a ways. on missile defense, what our capabilities, there are robust. we are not talking about a significant arsenal. given the uranium enrichment program, we can add additional weapons. we are talking about a finite number of potential nuclear weapons, way down the we will be prepared. >> i replay to congressman
frankel's question. the endgame should be to seek the emergence of a united free open democratic korea with a sufficiency of government and seal -- seoul. it is stated explicitly. it is hard for us to conceive north korea suffering against south korea. it lags behind in every index of state power except for military power. that is the ultimate objective of the north korean state. one steppingstone in achieving that unification is to evict the u.s. troops from south korea. this is tied to north korea's more clear -- nuclear programs.
if korea were to demonstrate that it has achieved that capability to marry a nuclear warhead to an intercontinental illicit missile, north korea's bargaining power would be enhanced. the goal of the north korean regime by pursuing such weapons development program is not necessarily to attack the united states. north korea is not suicidal. to negotiate vis-à-vis the united states from a position of strength on a host of matters, that has played the most role in keeping the peace in the korean: nisul.a.inkore
>> i grant your point. i would interject one point. you have a habit to consider on the part of the government of north korea. that is the habit of proliferation. they have proliferated every other weapons program they have gotten a handle on, including to syria. in this instance, you have seismic activity that would indicate that it is a much greater yield in terms of this explosion and it is a smaller warhead. they must be getting closer in terms of that capabilities by placing it on what they have mastered.
we go to the ranking member on europe, eurasia, and emerging threats. >> i would like to thank you personally as well as think the chairman for the strong leadership that both of you have provided on this issue of korea. i remember many years ago when i first was elected and became a member of this committee, there was the debate as to whether -- what policies we should have and these party talks and how much -- and whether we would give north korea aid. can someone fill me in? south korea has given north korea $10 billion in aid. over the years, the united states has provided food and oil and fuel for north korea.
how much have we provided north korea in that type of assistance? >> on the food, the u.s. was the greatest donor nation on humanitarian food aid for an extended amount of time for north korea. on fuel, we provided significant amounts of heavy fuel -- let's are we talking about billions of dollars? >> we are close to that. >> a little over $1 billion. >> into an old? >> yes. >> we have provided over $1 billion of food and oil. i remember several members of congress were vocally opposed to
this policy, suggesting that it would be counterproductive and it would be seen as a sign of weakness and when not going around change in north korea. we have been proven correct in those aggressive oppositions to that policy. when you act like idiots, idiots are the people that do favors for other entities. when you act like idiots, you will be expected to be treated like an idiot. that is what is going on in korea. they have been playing us ever since we decided to start giving them money. south korea was willing to give them over $10 billion in aid. we see that this regime is declaring that the truce is no longer in place. this is a slap in the face to
the useful idiots all over the world that think you can buy off our to talk. enemies by being friends with him. -- buy off our enemies by being friends with them. my friend is a vietnam veteran who is a heroic individual, but i am sorry. i think coconut make good unit dollars -- piña colada's, but they make that policy. licy.licy we are fighting to make sure we do not give our enemies money. we fought through a missile defense system which may provide us security in the united states against the soles
launched from north korea to southern california. thank. we overwrote -- thank god we overwrote that. i would like to ask about china. you tended not to --regime change and one singular korea has to be the goal. is china pulling of a lot of strings up there in north korea? are they the ones who hold the key to changing the direction of north korea? the peaceful change of direction russia mark >> the chinese -- the peaceful direction of china? >> having that north korea card to play he studied the united
states over the long term and having that long-term, china sees that to be in its interests. >> you assume you would have a system that when we hear that there would be no more truce that the chinese are in agreement with the north koreans on that type of hostile act? >> the chinese are not pleased with north korea to cause it has .efied china, evenin north korea has never caved in to chinese pressure. the chinese have reasons to be displeased against pyongyang on. interests are not on the same trajectory forever. if we come to a situation whereby the chinese leadership has to make a decision to wave goodbye to the de-prk or take a major risk in confronting the
united states, pragmatism would prevail. >> we go to our next speaker. >> former south korean president made many aspects of his overall approach to north korea contingent upon progress to deal igor rice north korea. how can the new president link north-south progress to nuclear and missile threats? what is your evaluation of his first year in power? do you see any of his policies as deviating from his father's or toward any type of reform? >> he is on a course of much more aggressive action than his father. he is in a position of weakness.
he is not the eldest son. he is in a position where his revolutionary state requires resources. they are economically in trouble. they are unwilling to go through economic reform. they have not demonstrated any serious intent. that leaves them in a situation of writing a nuclear tiger. it is hard to get off. his next steps will be more provocative in the next year. after that, we may have a diplomatic opportunity. it could get rough along the way. >> one misperception about north korea is that the regime merely react to external stimuli in a negative way to sanctions and so forth. north korea has been more
proactive in dealing with the u.s. and south korea throughout the entire history of the cold war to this present day. north korea will provoke occasionally launching deadly attacks against south korea and the united states and a limited way. north korea is not suicidal. this pattern of provocations will continue whether we are nice to north korea or we are are one principles -- on principles. if we were to tighten sanctions and put more pressure on the regime, it is plausible that north korea will react negatively, perhaps launch a limited attack on the west see or elsewhere near the korean peninsula. they are a part of north korea's long-term strategy. they will happen regardless of how generous we are. we had to naval skirmishes
despite south korea's engagement policy toward north korea in the mid-2000. we had a long-range missile test july 4 in 2006 and later that year north korea's first nuclear test, raising the stakes. it will continue. to shy a way from a principled approach i do not think would be more effective than pursuing a policy of unconditional aid. >> in north korea, it is opaque. the dynamics within the leadership is happening with succession. this younger son had to fill under pressure. he made significant decisions when he came in, personnel decisions. he removed hardliners and put people in place and positions that were probably not expected
by many others. he put the party in charge of looking over the military. he moved his uncle up the ladder. those first three months, he was moving in a direction. that has reversed. but we are seeing now is the playbook of kim jong-il. that is unfortunate. there was optimism. maybe he is looking for some sort of reform. we are not saying that now. with further sanctions, there will be further reactions. they will intensify. that would be disastrous for the dprk. he probably knows that. >> kim jong-il has been clamping
down on border crossers. the number has decreased by 100%. the number of defectors coming to south korea is less than 50% in 2012 than it was in 2011. he is more impressive than his father. let's we will go now to mr. disanto's. >> i think this hearing has been useful. it is important that we adopt policies to combat the illicit activity of this criminal regime. , is respect to kim jong-un ow he solidifying his hold on power vis-à-vis when he first came in?
changed the number ofhas ministers. he has moved people around a bit. the people around him and with the most recent visit of this an dennis rodman, a number of those prayers are those who have interested but the u.s.. is that messaging? it probably is to the u.s. the people around him are more of hardliners. one would have thought 12 months ago he was trying to put on the sidelines. >> it is a common misperception the notion that there is some type of policy difference or conflict between the leadership and the north korean ella terry. -- north korean military. there are competing interests,
but the north korean system's total monopoly of the clan over the rest of the nation including the military has been nearly perfected. the north korean founder learned this from chairman mao of china. make sure that the party controls the military and maintains power to appoint and promote general's, making key personnel decisions. that is a pattern that north korea has adopted from china and implemented for many years. i do not think there is a high chance of any kind of direct challenge to kim jong-un o. over the course of 30 years, that likelihood would only increase with time. >> i agree with the professor. base ofil kim jong-un's
power, his survival is imperiled will he consider any deviation for opening his system. it is a system that is hardline. there is no incentive for strategic accommodation. we have looked at it for years. we have done so for over 20 years. we have tried everything to try to understand the opportunity for diplomacy, which i believe in. there is no credible solution diplomatically unless the regime feels at the highest of levels that it is imperiled. when they face payroll, i do not -- when they face peril, they will make strategic choice. we will have two cars the chinese -- co-first the chinese counterparts. -- we will have to coerce our
chinese counterparts. the leader will have to make hard choices. this choice will have to up the escalation. that is what is getting his fees will be read and circuits of facts of space tests and nuclear tests are making north korea look more powerful in the world. >> you mentioned how the systematic oppression of the people of north korea by the regime is one of its weaknesses. maybe that is in the long-term. how can this weakness the used consideration? it seems like the regime has an iron fist over his people. >> they operate political
prisoner operation camps. they are large in the entire towns. the regime tries to shield us from view. north korea is the only country that maintains there are no human rights issues inside their country. they are a bit sensitive. raising global awareness on it human rights violations and raising our efforts is not only be right thing to do in terms of principle, it is a practical value. close to the two percent of north koreans surveyed who have come to the south say that they have come into contact with outside information about the outside world through listening to radio, they're watching south .orean edvd's
it is an incentive for the north korean people. the more they learn about the outside world and their relative conditions, the greater incentive to escape their oppressive country. >> we go down to mr. deutsch, ranking member of the middle east subcommittee. >> i would like to follow-up on the line of questions from my colleague from florida. it is little wonder that just as on cable news shows, dennis rodman's visit to north korea got some attention here. what is so disconcerting is that the coverage of this visit, even on cable television, even on the so-called new shows, did not focus on anything other than the fact that he is a celebrity who visited.
there was little coverage at all during his visit of exactly what what you brought up. that is the fact that north korea is the worst human rights violators in the world. according to human rights watch, there are thousands of north koreans including children in prison camps. archer. -- tortured. we did not hear about this and the coverage of this visit. there is no independent media. there is no religious freedom. government policies have subjected the north koreans to famine. dr. lee, if i could ask you to follow-up on your last exchange. how do we change the never to have about north korea -- how do we change the narrative so that the human rights situation is
at the forefront of our discussions? what do we do to make sure that we highlight this abysmal record as we talk about the future of north korea? what can the u.n. due to enable more of the shaming that a lot of us think may be so helpful in pursuing this agenda? >> a statute defines crimes against humanity in this way -- systematic and widespread attacks against the civilian population with knowledge of the tact and intent. things like murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, torture, and other forms of deprivation. crimes of sexual nature, persecution based on political,
national, racial, ethnic, religious grounds. the only crime that north korea does not facilitate the crime of apartheid. north korea has a high degree of ethnic homogenates he just -- homogeneity. the reason that it does not get sufficient coverage in the news is because we do not see gruesome scenes of people dying and so forth on tv. >> we have does come minutes left. use this opportunity. you told us about the crimes being violated. you spoke about the gulags. take the last minute and a half. describe in detail so we can highlight these atrocities. >> the gruesome things that go
on in the gulags are so gruesome, they come across as unbelievable. there is a memoir called escape from camp 14. it details the life of a young man born in one of these camps who was brainwashed into writing on his own family and read it on his mother and older brother who had intentions of escaping and witnessed the public execution of his mother and brother and felt moved -- don't no remorse -- and did not fill remorse because he was a product of the environment. these are matters that insult our basic morality that need to be told at greater length, reach a wider audience. the media and intellectuals and governments have a basic duty to portray the north korean regime as criminal and discourage
people from continuing to view north korea as an oddity run by a bizarre dictator. it is not an option option. it is a threat to humanity. we have to purvey that message. >> i am grateful for that. >> i recommend for the members and the audience the book "e scape from camp 14." i interviewed the author. for those who question whether this is true, i saw the scars on his back from his torture. this is a riveting account of how dehumanizing it is under to talk terrorism -- under totalitarianism to live your life due to the sense of your camera -- due to the sense of
your parents. he escaped. he told the story. we owe this to familiarize ourselves with what is happening there. my father took photographs. the photos are airily --eerily reminiscent of the photos you see, out of these camps in north korea where family members are held as well, including young children. we go now to mr. messer for your questioning. >> thank you, mr. channeirman. it is ironic that we are here this week having this hearing the same week that we hear about dennis rodman's trip to north korea and that on face would be a joke. it is not a joke. it trivializes a circumstance
that should not be at all trivial. you mentioned human rights violations, nuclear proliferation, organized crime. we need to keep the public sentiment in america on this topic to stay strong on the challenges we face with north korea. southe, you mentioned u korean leadership being put forward. those actions depend on public sentiment in south korea. i would ask you to expand upon what the current public sentiment is in south korea toward north korea? has that changed? >> the south korean perception
of north korea has changed in the wake of north korea's deadly attacks against south korea in 2010. fundamentally, south koreans have grown rich over the past couple of generations. they do not want to risk losing their assets, wealth, and security. they do not support escalating tension with north korea. north korea does is best to exploit such sentiment in south korea. the south korean government should make north korean human rights a high priority. madame president, as a candidate on november 5 last year, and her foreign-policy statement, she said she would do her best to address the human rights situation and reinforced programs for austria defectors
coming to south korea. finally past eight human rights act. three days later, north korea gave her a ringing endorsement. north korea criticized her for having the temerity to mention words like effect as and human rights. that indicates that north korea is sensitive to its gross human rights violations. >> thank you very much. mr. connolly is recognized from virginia. >> dr. lee, i was struck by your testimony where you went through a litany of overtures from the west and the united states and south korea, all of which were rebuffed. if you look at north korea behavior subsequenct in terms of the government -- in terms of
the furthering of nuclear development. are we wasting our time making overtures to the regime? >> north korea views itself as the party wilting the proverbial carrot and stick. north korea is some more proactive party. that does not mean that we should completely abandon talking to north korea. the dennis rodman affair a few weeks from now will come to view as the way that we have come to view developments out of north korea last july when kim jong-un enjoyed a performance and joined disney characters -- and following -- involving disney characters and rock music. that is trivial personal preference. that is not to say that the rodman affair was without utility.
we learned that kim jong-un's spoken english is limited. there is some intelligence value. >> my question has to do do with -- i thought you were suggesting that the overtures make us feel good but they lack efficacy if you are looking for results. >> that is right. >> i was struck by you mentioning several times the pragmatism of the chinese. the chinese are at the end of the day pragmatic. if one looks at their continuing support for this pariah regime, it is hard to see pragmatism they are. especially as chinese get more and more intricately involved in market oriented investments, including here.
north korea seems to be a throwback, a cultish, pariah state throwback that can only over time and there is the chinese. it can prove to be a liability on the korean peninsula, not an asset or buffalo. if it made sense in the cold war, it makes no sense in today's context. it is hard to see that as a pragmatic policy on the part of the chinese. i would wonder if you would comment on that. i would welcome others to. >> china will eventually combine to view north korea as more a liability. that time has not come in yet. >> china is close to that. china has been trying to mediate the sides. china is realizing kim jong-un going beyond the pail.
>> china is the key here. we will not change directly north korean behavior. >> we have to change chinese behavior to change north korean behavior. i spent a lot of time in china. i am not anti-chinese. i see no choice but to impose greater consequences on china. >> thank you. >> thank you. we are pleased to hear from mr. barra. quarks -- >> each of you have commented on this line in the sand scenario. we draw a line in the sand and north korea steps over a.
there is a policy on their part to always provoke. knowing that they will continue this policy of provocation, when we look at kim jong-un and those around them, are there members in the north korean government innerkim jong-un's circle who are sympathetic to this of nonproliferation to help the north koreans? is there anyone we could work with or compel the chinese to work with? >> i do not know if anyone is sympathetic per se. there are some around kim jong- un that have been exposed to the west and china. and how china went from the cultural revolution to where they are today. it has to be powerful.
there are some around kim jong- un who are witnessing this and who realize north korea needs the -- needs to be moving in that direction. >> knowing that we have a stated policy of making sure that iran does not acquire a system? how can we make sure north korea does not sell technology to iran? what were your recommendations agreed to make sure that china understands that that is the immovable line in the sand and does engage in a way that is not allowing north korea -- >> the chinese companies
operating on a beneficial basis or on company faces for north korean entities need to be held accountable for being north korean entities even if they are chinese-run and operated. there is a case where an aircraft company was outed in a german court for procuring sensitive information. they denied that they did not know how it happened. when china's most sensitive and important military company is involved in funding for north korea, we have to notice and assume that activity continues. does that become pork shredded by the leader of the chinese government? it does not happen? we have to hold people accountable for their actions. that will be a policy we will have to apply for the chinese.
>> there is a robust dialogue with the people's republic of china and beijing on these nonproliferation issues and the concern about the proliferations. a lot of information is being shared. there is a dialogue. hopefully, we will see greater traction on both sides. >> thank you for your answers. >> we have no further request for time. i would like to yield to my colleagues who would like to make a statement of clarification. >> i wanted to offer a couple of comments about what was mentioned. my good friend from california said that he does not agree with that observation about the u.s. taking a hypocritical role on a nonproliferation issue. it is not the united states. it is the concept of nonproliferation.
if the united states is a member of the nuclear super members of the security council, i want to commend president obama for his efforts to try to limit the number of nuclear weapons we have instated. we now have enough nuclear weapons around the world to blow this planet 10 times over. we have five thousand nuclear weapons and stockpiled. the russians have more. the british and french have a couple hundred. the hypocrisy of the concept and not of my country, the united states. as for dennis rodman's visit, he did not go there to represent the united states. yes, he is a great basketball player who happens to be a u.s. citizen. i do not think and anywhere he has ever given any indication
that he was there representing president obama or anybody in our government. we need to be clear on that. my friend from california, i do not know what he meant about coconuts. perhaps my colleagues on the committee could try to taste the coconuts. it is very juicy, delicious, nutritious. they merely need to seize -- s ee we could find better ways. last year, we had a hearing. we were talking about north korea up and down. the whole thing north korea this and that. not one of our expert witnesses said anything about south korea. if it has any meaning or relevance to the issue when we talk about north korea. the only way we will resolve the problem is that the leaders of the people of north and south korea have got to do it themselves. what happens? 20 milli